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A review of haplogroup N (Y-DNA)

25 Jul
Haplogroup N (Y-DNA) is spread from the Baltic to the South China Sea being one of those rare genetic links between East and West Eurasia (other than ultimate common ancestry) and one of the two Y-DNA lineages which expanded across the Northern Eurasian continent (the other one being Q).
While it is apparent to me and many others that the lineage originated in East Asia and expanded first Northwards to Siberia and later Westwards to Europe. I have found sometimes reluctance to accept this fact or difficulty understanding why. Some of the data of this paper may be of help in this regard. It is also a good exercise for those learning to understand how haploid genetics can be decoded into a meaningful pattern that reveals key parts of the untold history of peoples. 
Hong Shi et al., Genetic Evidence of an East Asian Origin and Paleolithic Northward Migration of Y-chromosome Haplogroup N. PLoS ONE 2013. Open access → LINK [doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066102]

Abstract

The Y-chromosome haplogroup N-M231 (Hg N) is distributed widely in eastern and central Asia, Siberia, as well as in eastern and northern Europe. Previous studies suggested a counterclockwise prehistoric migration of Hg N from eastern Asia to eastern and northern Europe. However, the root of this Y chromosome lineage and its detailed dispersal pattern across eastern Asia are still unclear. We analyzed haplogroup profiles and phylogeographic patterns of 1,570 Hg N individuals from 20,826 males in 359 populations across Eurasia. We first genotyped 6,371 males from 169 populations in China and Cambodia, and generated data of 360 Hg N individuals, and then combined published data on 1,210 Hg N individuals from Japanese, Southeast Asian, Siberian, European and Central Asian populations. The results showed that the sub-haplogroups of Hg N have a distinct geographical distribution. The highest Y-STR diversity of the ancestral Hg N sub-haplogroups was observed in the southern part of mainland East Asia, and further phylogeographic analyses supports an origin of Hg N in southern China. Combined with previous data, we propose that the early northward dispersal of Hg N started from southern China about 21 thousand years ago (kya), expanding into northern China 12–18 kya, and reaching further north to Siberia about 12–14 kya before a population expansion and westward migration into Central Asia and eastern/northern Europe around 8.0–10.0 kya. This northward migration of Hg N likewise coincides with retreating ice sheets after the Last Glacial Maximum (22–18 kya) in mainland East Asia.

Hong Shi has previously produced very interesting materials and this is no exception, however I find the use of chronological guesstimates as if these would be objective findings and treated as part of the central discourse (and not the mere side note where they belong) a bit nauseating and a cause of confusion.

Figure 4. Proposed prehistoric migration routes for Hg N lineage.
(the pattern is correct but the dates are mere hunches, not any sort of objective facts)

Above we can see the reconstructed pattern of expansion of Y-DNA N in three phases. In my understanding the dates are not way off, although I can only imagine that there is still room for improvement, especially regarding the “red” phase. After all NO may have split c. 60 Ka ago and the main branch, O, c. 50 Ka BP – and not the mere 25-30 Ka that Shi calculated (in a previous study but mentioned again here).
But the really interesting part is not molecular-clock-o-logy but this:

Figure 3. Median-joining networks for sub-haplogroups of Hg N lineage using Y-STR alleles.

The
diagnostic mutations used to classify the sub-haplogroups are labeled
on the tree branches. Each node represents a haplotype and its size is
proportional to the haplotype frequency, and the length of a branch is
proportional to the mutation steps. The colored areas indicate the
geographic origins of the studied populations or language groups.

Here we can appreciate, with the labyrinthine limitations of the use of (too few?) STR markers, the apparent structure of the various haplogroups and paragroups under N. We can also see the STR diversity in numerical terms:

Table 3. Y-STRs diversity of Hg N sub-haplogroups.

Sadly the category “Han Chinese” is almost useless and one wonders why Shi et al. changed from the North/South polarity in the key paragroup N* to such a confusing terminology in N1.
In any case, it is quite evident that N arose in South China, spread, already as N1 to NE Asia and, later, some of that N1 (N1c mostly but also some N1b) spread Westwards reaching to Finland and other Eastern European populations. In the haplotype graph we can appreciate a distinct European-specific branch within N1b.

Update (Jul 28): some new findings (not considered in the study) and updated nomenclature.
See comments’ section for greater details. Special thanks to Palamede for his efforts in clarifying the matter.
Commercial testing company FTDNA has recently detected some new markers within haplogroup N1 that alter the phylogeny. A synthesis of these findings can be seen in this graph.
This new nomenclature was adopted by ISOGG but the study discussed here does not include it, using instead a 2011 nomenclature. Hence we must understand that:
  • N* and N1* remain as such
  • “N1a” (M128) is now known as N1c2a
  • “N1b” (P43) is now N1c2b
  • “N1c” (M46/Tat) is now N1c1
Therefore the N1 tree splits as:
  • N1a (new clade, P189)
  • N1b (new clade, L732)
  • N1c (new clade including all previously named subhaplogroups)
    • N1c1 (M46/Tat, former N1c)
    • N1c2 (new clade, L666)
      • N1c2a (M128, former N1a)
      • N1c2b (P43, former N1b)
 
As far as I could gather, N1(xN1c) is so far only clearly represented by two FTDNA-tested singletons: a Slovakian (N1a) and someone of Polish surname (N1b1). However I may be missing some details. Whatever the case it is possible that, unless more samples show up in these groupings the tree may be later reverted to the original state (or something in between) because isolated individuals or families do not haplogroups make. 
Also it is important to understand that commercial DNA testing companies have very unbalanced samples, clearly dominated by people of NW European (and to lesser extent other European) ancestry, what is not too useful when discerning what is where, producing sometimes the false impression of greater European diversity just because of greater number of samples.
On the other, hand the Hong Shi data reported above clearly shows a great number (and diversity) of East Asians within N1*, so the most likely conclusion is that the few Europeans within N1* are mere erratics within clades of East Asian origin, surely brought Westward by the overall N1 tide. 
So in essence the conclusions of the paper remain unchallenged.
 

79 responses to “A review of haplogroup N (Y-DNA)

  1. Daniel de França MTd2

    August 19, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    In terms of Atlantic or Norway, it was the case of population explosion with agriculture, although slow due cold weather. But the advance in overall technology made the advance wave more conservative, because it was more resilient.

     
  2. vooruit

    August 20, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Maju: "As far as I can see, IE languages share no or almost no agricultural vocabulary." Not everyone would agree with that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-Europeans#Culturehttp://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:List_of_Proto-Indo-European_nouns#Vegetable_foodas you can see above, some are not only shared between European IE languages but also with Asian IE languages sometimes. "Your example of aratrum – plough is a great example because it is obvious that such closely related languages as are Latin and Germanic diverge in this, as do many others. That does not mean that on occasion they may not share a word or two but that's because they are all part of the West Eurasian macro-cultural area." Anyway it's not rare to find several different words for the same thing in PIE. There were two words for "water" and two words for "fire" in pIE, even though it likely refered originally to two different states of these things. There are even more words for "wheel" (at least three, IIRC). "In fact we see two main roots: the one of aratrum (Latin, Breton, Finnic, Greek, Latvian but not Lithuanian) (…) clear sign of sprachbund. The division of the two main areas seems to be something like continental vs. Mediterranean (but Tocharian and Finnic/Latvian are exceptional here)." For the Aratrum-like words? Latvian and Finnish but not Lithuanian? Strange for an areal loanword. The mere fact that Latin and TOCHARIAN share a word for such a thing as the plough is enough to severely hinder the Kurgan theory. A word for PLOUGH in TOCHARIAN?! Latin (central Italy/mediterranean sea) and Tocharian (north western China, between Tibet and Altai) shared a word for plough? How so? Your theory is that it is a loanword that wasn't present in PIE and that somehow they picked it up from west Asian agricultural populations, right? When? where? You think the proto-Tocharians went from the pontic steppes to Afanasevo, right? It had to happen after the proto-Tocharians left the Pontic steppes otherwise it was part of PIE and if it was part of PIE, then the PIE populations were at least partly farmers. It is difficult to imagine these people borrowing a word for plough with what we know of them. How are Afanasevo and agriculture related? I can grant you that the Loulan Beauty was burried with a wheat basket and she's from around 1,800 BCE, and that a genetic study had concluded that some early Tarim Basin people had a genetic link with south Siberia and the Altai (meaning ultimately Afanasevo). But what's the correlation between Afanasevo and wheat? Besides this mummy also had a bronze knife and no bronze is known from Afanasevo, only copper objects… so… "tracks of IE loanwords in Sumerian" "That's most unlikely. Much more likely is that it'd be the other way around: that Sumerian (or otherwise West Asian Neolithic) words are loanwords into IE." Loanwords in both directions is not excludable. It makes an origin of PIE/pre-PIE in west Asia even more likely actually. "It's possible that both share loanwords from NE Caucasian-Hurro-Urartean. "Difficult to believe, especially for this type of loanwords IMHO. More below.

     
  3. vooruit

    August 20, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    "Many of the words I see in that paper do not seem justified" Well, some definitely seem credible, even convincing I would say. Also it's striking to see how a similar stem for "pig" is present throughout Eurasia – and that means Sumerian too – including in PIE, while all the Chalcolithic Russia knew was the wild boar. Obviously it couldn't designate the wild animal in PIE in this context. Why would Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from the middle Volga would have borrowed it during contacts with far away west Asian neolithic communities' members, as they didn't have any domesticated pigs. BTW, this stem is present in Tocharian languages and they did have domesticated pigs. I can't help noticing that not only there might be some IE loanwords in Sumerian but that some sound of some of the early sumerian cuneiform caracters seem to correspond to an IE sound instead of a Sumerian one (e.g. a character representing an animal is pronounced like this animal in IE and not in Sumerian if I understood correctly Whittaker) as if this writing system had been (partly?) borrowed from some IE people. If I say so, it's because some famous inscriptions from Neolithic Romania (the Tartaria tablets), almost 1,000 years before the first known cuneiform inscriptions, look suspiciously similar to archaic cuneiform. I'm not implying that the origin of cuneiform is in Romania, that would be a bit of a stretch, but we can still imagine an Indo-european-speaking source in Asia minor that would be the source for both, after all the populations from ancient south-east europe (like Varna or Vinca for instance) could have been partly derived from migrations coming from Asia Minor. "Plenty of laryngeals in PIE fitting better with west Asia"… "From the text, curiously: "These sounds have disappeared in all present-day Indo-European languages [in all of them?, what a coincidence!]," Not a coincidence. A change in the population speading the languages through the time. A minority of West Asian individuals transmitting their language to a majority from a population being not used to this "throat efforts", we can understand that after a while most of the H's vanished. It could have been present in a stage anterior to the general break-up of this PIE community (Anatolian in west Asia) but losing it soon after it reached certain populations (all the ancient west Asian languages don't necessarily imply many laryngeals, it's just that the fact that PIE has got so much of them would point rather towards this region than Europe). "but some laryngeals are believed to have existed in Hittite and other Anatolian languages Which nobody can confirm and would not matter because, even if real, it could well be a substrate influence in this particular sub-family."To be precise the Laryngeal theory is accepted by an overwhelming number of specialists, the critics are the tiny minority here. Do you know how it came to be? Saussure predicted it just by studying IE languages before the first Hittite texts showed up. When these texts were discovered, they proved posteriorly his theory to be correct. H's were there, where they were supposed to be. No, not a Fluke. "The appearance of a previously absent west Asian component in European aDNA in autosomal data after neolithic, throughout Europe". "There's no way to connect that fact with Indoeuropean expansion. "And what could it be then? How to explain its presence everywhere, especially in similar percentage – with an absence in populations speaking non-IE languages – while the neolithic European aDNA we've got now don't have any in sizable percentages…

     
  4. vooruit

    August 20, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    "The Svastika is clearly a pre-IE element, found mostly in pre-IE areas like Dravidian megaliths, East Asia and even Native America. The swastika is first found in Gravettian contexts AFAIK and arises again, along with other cross-like symbols in Neolithic West Asia, notably Samarra, as you correctly recall, precursor of Sumerian culture."So we would be talking of an old Eurasian symbol having its origin in depth of paleolithic? hmmm… OK. Is there any evidences of this European paleolithic presence of the swastika (a link would be great)? I'd like to read it by myself. Anyway I guess that the Russian PIE populations could have taken the swastika at the same time they picked pastoralism from their neighbors. I also guess the thundering god and the giant evil snake might also have an ancient paleolithic origin as well, I don't know. Maybe linked with the spreading of some early Y-DNA R1s (after all there is a slightly higher percentage of R1b-v88 in the south of Egypt than in the north of Egypt and some early R1a might have bring it in south russia, who knows. No apparent mythological link with the R1b Basques though). But I digress on a highly flimsy ground.

     
  5. vooruit

    August 20, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Maju: "Now for what really matters: the Kurgan model is totally consistent with archaeological data (barring the occasional question mark, of course). If you know your Chalcolithic (and Metal Ages) archaeology of Europe you know that Kurgan is as solid as it can get (…) and to Anatolia via the Caucasus (Anatolian branch). Etcetera, etcetera." I'm not denying the spreading of the cultural "Kurgan" influence (although some stuff is less clear than you allege. AFAIK the exact relation of Corded ware with the steppes is disputed, and the Kurgan practice might actually come from the Caucasus region, not from the Steppes (see the paragraph below)). It doesn't mean that it's THEIR language that spreaded in these prehistorical dynamics. Only a little percentage of their language might have seeped in the local languages. -> "the revised dating for the Maikop culture means that the earliest kurgans occur in the northwestern and southern Caucasus and precede by several centuries those of the Pit-Grave (Yamnaya) cultures of the western Eurasian steppes (cf. Chernykh and Orlovskaya 2004a and b). The calibrated radiocarbon dates suggest that the Maikop ‘culture’ seems to have had a formative influence on steppe kurgan burial rituals and what now appears to be the later development of the Pit-Grave (Yamnaya) culture on the Eurasian steppes (Chernykh and Orlovskaya 2004a: 97)" from "Origins, Homelands and Migrations: Situating the Kura-Araxes Early Transcaucasian ‘Culture’ within the History of Bronze Age Eurasia" Philip L. Kohl – Tel Aviv vol. 36, 2009 241–265 (-> http://kura-arax.tau.ac.il/system/files/Kohl.pdf) In 911 AD, old Norse-speaking Vikings settled in what became Normandy (their name named this region and yet…) they were in no way weaker than the then weak king of France (they were legally vassals but in the reality they were actually stronger than the King, like several other French vassals, and didn't respect his autority) and yet, 150 years later, that's French dialect, socio-political system and culture that they spreaded in Great Britain. It's not rare that the rough powerful pragmatical "barbarians" became accultured to their conquered people, only to influence moderately or little the local substrate (which is also what happened after the völkerwanderung, except in the UK but the place was not very populated and there might have been huge human losses in the Romano-briton population in what became England, so the percentage of Germanic migrants might have been important in comparison to the other European regions). The Cucuteni would have been culturally superior and they might have influenced the Steppes warriors more than the contrary in this domain. Isn't it what is seen in archeology with hybrid cultures appearing rapidly after the first violent steppic populations' incursions in east/south-east Europe? "We see them expanding to Altai (proto-Tocharian) and to Anatolia via the Caucasus (Anatolian branch)" You see Anatolian arriving in Asia Minor from the Caucasus? The Anatolian languages are distributed in the west and center of Turkey. And we also know that the east of Asia Minor had well-established non-IE languages (Hattic, Hurrian, Urartian and so on), later and thus most-likely previously to. Hittite had borrowed a lot to Hattic (easter) but not Luwian (that might have borrowed to other ancient local languages though). I could understand if you'd associate Anatolian with the first movements of the steppic "Kurgan" populations in south-east Europe, but from the Caucasus? But anyway I don't think there is anything explaining how bronze age south-east europan peoples would have conquered at least half of what is now Turkey and supporting in archeological data. No strong tracks anyway.

     
  6. vooruit

    August 20, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    "We also see the Danubian Neolithic collapse: first on its own weight after the Climate Optimum (demographic collapse) and then on external pressures (Megalithism and Kurgan peoples). We see that happens even in the genetic aspect, with clearly no strong continuity between Danubian Neolithic and present day (or even Chalcolithic) Germany data." Is this really contradicting my remark? "We also see many non-IE languages in West Asia: from Hattic to Sumerian, from Hurrite to Eteocretan, from Eteocypriot to Kartvelian, from Semitic to Elamite… The apparent Asian offshoots in Europe such as Pelasgic or Etruscan (and maybe also Vasconic at an older date) are also not IE at all."So what? There is still room in a big chunk of Asia minor. Namely west and central Turkey. The other languages you mentionned weren't related to each other either and yet they were there, side by side. "It's probable that, like many other languages it has West Asian Neolithic loanwords"It's even a certitude. One can wonder how several Semitic loanwords (including figures, maybe several ones) got into PIE, a language supposedly spoken by peoples derived from Russian mesolithic hunter-gatherers as north as Samara (somehow already knowing potteries, mind you. But this might have something to do with the east Asian admixture there). "the same that we all say something like "telephone" (…) it is a mere wanderwort extending from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean."And yet they seem to have their own word for wheel, metal, wool, ovine and bovine (except for * (s)tawr- that is apprently from Semitic), as if they had been powerful enough and innovators themselves and only neighbors of semitic populations, explaining the moderate numbers of loanwords for things that they should have borrowed to more "advanced" peoples. Sorry for having been so long.

     
  7. Maju

    August 20, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Have you tried to double check the claims made in that list. Many words can't mean what they are claimed to be (what is claimed as "flour" is chaff in fact, "spelt" is anything from flour to barley, "beer" means in fact bitter at least in one language) but the most normal case is words that are not at all pan-IE but restricted to some geographic areas like the Scythian influence one, or the Eastern Mediterranean or the Baltic area. Among these I find notorious the Med-Atlantic one alleged *h₁eregwo- (pea), which in fact I'd reconstruct as something like "orbain" or "orban" instead, which in fact means "speck" in Basque today. Surely a coincidence [sarcasm intended]. Similarly the word for "beer" (or rather "bitter") is similar to the word for vagina in Basque (alu), yes surely just a coincidence… In other words some authors find words that are more or less widespread in some areas and they imagine them being PIE just because. They may well have other origins and in most cases I'd say it is the case. Instead for example the words for "salt" or "grain" ("corn") seem genuinely Indoeuropean. But, among crop words, they are exceptions, not the rule. It's quite ironical also the many roots for goat, some of which remind to Basque ahuntz and the male form aker, especially if we assume some common origin like ayk or auk (-er bein maybe just male: (h)ar). The "only" root for ram seems to produce way too different words, so probably several roots in fact. Some of these words, notably Greek aries or Tocharian yriye, are similar to Basque ahari (which in turn is similar to billy goat: aker, especially assuming the common k←→h change).En fin…

     
  8. Maju

    August 20, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    "Anyway it's not rare to find several different words for the same thing in PIE".Precisely. They may be in some cases two genuine dialectal variants of PIE but in most cases they just borrowed one or both from another source. Just because it is shared by SOME IE languages that does not make a word genuinely PIE."Latvian and Finnish but not Lithuanian? Strange for an areal loanword". Makes sense if the origin in the North is Finnic, after all much of Latvia was once Finnic-speaking (all the North in historical times, maybe all the country in earlier times). That's not the case of Lithuania. We also see similar differences between Brythonic and Gaelic, Romanian and Western Romances… "The mere fact that Latin and TOCHARIAN share a word for such a thing as the plough is enough to severely hinder the Kurgan theory".Not if the word has a West Asian but non-IE origin. How's plough in Etruscan? In Hattic? In Pelasgic? Eteocretan? Sumerian? Semitic? I don't know but Arabic miħrāθ resembles the *ara form. It's not enough that a word is shared by some IE languages, even if distant, to be originally IE. There are other possibilities like a similar origin of borrowings. And that similar origin of borrowings is usually in West Asia, not just for IE but for other languages (I already mentioned the iri-uri-uru-ili-uli wanderwort, which goes from the Bay of Biscay to the Bay of Bengal, including some IE languages and some non-IE ones, like Basque, Sumerian or Dravidian). "Loanwords in both directions is not excludable. It makes an origin of PIE/pre-PIE in west Asia even more likely actually".West Asia irradiated a lot in Neolithic and also later in the Bronze Age. We should expect many West Asian wanderworts everywhere from Finisterre to the Brahmaputra. Samara valley or even more remote lands like the Finnic Countries would be no exceptions.

     
  9. Maju

    August 21, 2013 at 12:14 am

    "… all the Chalcolithic Russia knew was the wild boar".Not true, gratuitous claim. And even if it'd be the case, it would be no excuse because words for boar and pig are often exchangeable in many languages even today. F.e. Basque: urde (pig, boar), basurde (wild pig or wild boar, literally). Archaeologically it's very difficult to discern boars from pigs: they were (and still are in many cases) virtually identical but it's generally accepted that domestic pigs were widespread since the Initial Neolithic. "… some famous inscriptions from Neolithic Romania (the Tartaria tablets), almost 1,000 years before the first known cuneiform inscriptions, look suspiciously similar to archaic cuneiform".They do not look cuneiform at all! Nobody knows if they are a script or just symbolic drawings. The area was Danubian and that culture (Karanovo-Gumelnita) was precisely destroyed by IE invasions, which mark the most clear cultural change in that part of the World ever. The new culture (Ezero) surely led directly to Thracians (and hence to Phrygians and Armenians, and a bit more obliquely Greeks as well).

     
  10. Maju

    August 21, 2013 at 12:24 am

    I think that laryngeals are linguists' mental wanking and nothing else: a rabbit they pulled out of the hat. It does not look serious to me, nope. "And what could it be then?"Other languages, maybe Vasconic. "How to explain its presence everywhere, especially in similar percentage"…Actually there's nothing like a similar percentage everywhere in the Neolithic. I'm working right now with three of the best studied areas: Central Europe, Basque Country and Portugal and we see striking differences:1. The Basque area remained pretty much stable since Neolithic.2. Central Europe suffered radical changes until some time in the Bronze Age. It's Neolithic pool was not at all modern-like. 3. Portugal remained stable with the highest frequencies of mtDNA H ever (> 80%) until at least Chalcolithic. Today however has one of the lowest mtDNA H frequencies in West Europe, what indicates changes in the Metal Ages, precisely when archaeology suggests them to happen. Chalcolithic Portugal is the leading candidate for the spread of much of mtDNA in Western and Central Europe, probably within Megalithism. If you provide me with an email, I can send you my working sheet with all the data, and even some preliminary graphs. Else you will have to wait some weeks yet.

     
  11. Maju

    August 21, 2013 at 12:55 am

    "Is there any evidences of this European paleolithic presence of the swastika"…I read in books. Ukrainian Gravettian context. It may refer to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezine, not sure. Long time since I read that. Notice that Eastern European Epigravettian may have been influential on the Zagros Mesolithic (again stuff I read long ago). This map: http://www.euskomedia.org/ImgsAuna/23046401.gif, locates the use of the swastika worldwide, as you can see it includes sites in four continents and is absent in the early IE (later Scythian) area of the steppes. It's possible that in Asia and parts of Africa it spread in relation with late Megalithism but its use in Native America or West Africa does not fit any such explanation…. "the thundering god and the giant evil snake might also have an ancient paleolithic origin"…I cite Hesiodos from memory: At the beginning it was Chaos and from it arose Gaia and Eros. This is probably the old Neolithic religion preserved until recently among Basques (Mari and Sugaar, alias Maju) and among some Hindu sects (Shakti and Shiva), as well as in, more abstract from in Daoism (Yin and Yang). It is characterized by a dualist monotheism in which the female and the male half converge (sexually, and it was ritualized also sexually, orgiastically) to fertilize the World with their seed, incarnated as rains and storms (Odei in the Basque mythology).Gaia is Mother Earth (Basque gai(-a): substance, matter, but also potency, capability), while Sugaar is the snake or dragon, which Apollo or later Christian saints kill. It's not "evil" at all, just the legend justifies that way the change imposed by the IE invaders onto the cosmic order. Even in the late Middle Ages the mythical ancestry of Sugaar was used to justify the Lordship of Biscay. Later came Uranos, son and new lover of Gaia. Uranos is surely Basque Urtzi (Ost), the personification of the Sky, and probably the same known as Atlas. It has no preserved mythology but names several weekdays and meteorological phenomena and even in the Middle Ages, a pilgrim said of Basques: "et Deus vocant Urcia". His reign represents the change from a cthonic mythology to a celestial one with emphasis in astronomy. It's the time of Stonehenge and similar temples. The Kronos stage never reached the West. Kronos is usually associated to the Sumerian god Enki and maybe even has some oblique relationship with the Jewish Yaveh (or whatever). Possibly in Greece it can be related to Vinca-Dimini (Pelasgians) or maybe to the Cretan or Trojan hegemonies (different origin probably). And only then came Zeus (Indra, etc.) with its Indoeuropean court, notably Apollo-Vishnu. In Greece even Hades was taken from the hands of Gaia but in Nordic mythology it remains in her hands as Hel (now demonized). It's all reflected in Greek mythology (and others as well).

     
  12. Maju

    August 21, 2013 at 1:44 am

    It's taking me hours to reply…sigh!Corded Ware derives from Baalberge via several cultures (more notable Luboń and Globular Amphora). However it has a surely decisive Catacomb influence, which is maybe what you link to the Caucasus (Maikop). The connection to the steppes, from which Maikop itself is not far away, is anyhow clear for anyone tracking the Kurgan to its oldest manifestations. Both Baalberge and Maikop derive from Samara-Khvalynsk, so it's very clear. "It doesn't mean that it's THEIR language that spreaded in these prehistorical dynamics."Surely the Turkic peoples also spread without leaving their language anywhere… In your dreams, that's what I mean. The process of Kurgan expansion is clear and very strong and it is the only thing that fits with Indoeuropean expansion from the origins to the end in every single case (with the only possible doubt of Albanian, whose origins are a bit obscure). I can detail you with very few doubts (none of them important) the trail of each other IE language from Samara to present day. What you say about Maikop having the oldest Kurgans makes little sense to me: Samara began c. 5500, while Maikop only c. 3700 BCE. It is true that Samara culture only has proto-kurgans and not yet true kurgans but its successor Khvalynsk culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khvalynsk_culture) already has them and it begins a thousand years before Maikop. That Maikop and Kura-Araxes precede Yamnaya is no wonder because Yamnaya is NOT the origin of the Kurgan phenomenon but a relatively late manifestation. If Anatolian, which derives from these is more diverged than others it is precisely because Maikop is one of the first expansions of the Kurgan Peoples. When Yamnaya began, IEs were already raiding the Balcans and creating an offshoot realm at the Elbe, and of course they had reached Altai as well. That is part of the problem, I guess: people do not really understand the origins and patterns of Kurgan expansion as they should but have many misconceptions like this Yamnaya fetish. …

     
  13. Maju

    August 21, 2013 at 1:44 am

    …"It's not rare that the rough powerful pragmatical "barbarians" became accultured to their conquered people"…I don't say it does not happen (we know a couple of examples, both with very advanced conquered peoples: Sumerians and Romans) but we know many other examples where linguistic change happened instead (even Sumerians ended up speaking Semitic eventually, while many Roman and Greek speakers had to give up their language to Germanic, Slavic, Arabic or Turkish). Probably the main reason why Romances survive are the Catholic Church and the fact that Frankish were very romanized themselves (Saxons weren't and look what happened to Britain), while in general the Germanic kingdoms' legitimacy derived from becoming heirs of Rome (first as allies, later as successors). But whatever the case, these are exceptions, not the rule. The Cordoba Caliphate was much more advanced than Castile but the Andalusians now speak Castilian Spanish, Byzantium was much more advanced than the Turks but what is spoken in Istanbul now? And Danubians were not much more advanced, if at all, than the Kurgan steppe riders. These had everything Danubians had and something more: horses. Just being a farmer does not make you "more advanced", you need something else like cities, literature and an overwhelming prestige, preferably of religious nature. Some is left to random factors, like the incidental failure of Norman French in England (almost but not quite, still about 50% of English vocabulary is French). "You see Anatolian arriving in Asia Minor from the Caucasus?"Yes: Maikop → Kura-Araxes → Hittites."The Anatolian languages are distributed in the west and center of Turkey". Center-East of Anatolia peninsula. The late expansion of Luwian to the West → Lydian) is something that happened under the Hittite Empire, much as the expansion of Thracian to the East (→ Armenian) happened under Phrygian rule."I could understand if you'd associate Anatolian with the first movements of the steppic "Kurgan" populations in south-east Europe, but from the Caucasus?"Those are proto-Thracians (Ezero) and proto-Greeks (probably Cotofeni, maybe Vucedol). There are some doubts about which is which in the mosaic of Kurgan-created cultures in that area but they can't be Anatolians, first because their origin is East of the Halys (Luwian also), second because there are no known invasions of Anatolia from the West before Phrygians (Troy stood as guard for almost 2000 years: it may be a major cause, because Troy was very influential in the Balcans). When the Hittites arrived the area spoke what are probably North Caucasian languages (Hattic and Hurrian), these left a strong substrate impact in Hittite. "But anyway I don't think there is anything explaining how bronze age south-east europan peoples would have conquered at least half of what is now Turkey and supporting in archeological data". Nah. Not at all. Only after the Hittite collapse: Tracians → Phrygians → Armenians and also Greeks in the coasts and finally that mercenary Celtic offshoot of Galatia.

     
  14. Maju

    August 21, 2013 at 2:11 am

    "Is this really contradicting my remark?"If the Danubian genetic pool is clearly not modern, if they collapsed in demographic terms prior to the Megalithic and Kurgan expansions… the scenario of no continuity is clearly very strong. "So what? There is still room in a big chunk of Asia minor".Etruscans should have originated in West Turkey. According to some historical references Lydia itself, what would confirm (if accepted) that West Anatolia did not speak Anatolian IE before the Hittite expansion, at least not widely so. A quasi-Etruscan language is also attested historically in the island of Lemnos, not far from where Troy once stood. IMO it was Tyrsenian (maybe the same as Pelasgian) what was spoken in West Anatolia in the Bronze Age (prior to Hittite expansion). Eteocretans also originated in Western Anatolia, as did Cycladic peoples. The real issue to me would be to see if these languages can be related to NW Caucasian / Hattic or they really form a different family or families. Hard to find out, I know."One can wonder how several Semitic loanwords (including figures, maybe several ones) got into PIE"…I do not think possible that Semitic influenced PIE. It may have influenced some languages, especially via Phoenicians, Assyrians, etc. but not PIE. If words are truly coincident between Semitic and PIE roots, then they are probably shared loans from third languages, especially if those are Semitic-specific and not general Afrasian words. Notice that Semitic is also intrusive in West Asia, although from much much earlier than IE, being surely already forming in the PPNA and PPNB contexts. "* (s)tawr- that is apprently from Semitic" Can't it be Hattic, for example? Georgian at the very least also shares that word (/χɑrɪ/), although the form seems more divergent than Semitic and IE variants. Ugaritic also shares the same word (ṯr). It seems clear to me that the term is generic West Asian, unknown ultimate source.

     
  15. vooruit

    August 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    MAJU: "Many words can't mean what they are claimed to be (what is claimed as "flour" is chaff in fact, "spelt" is anything from flour to barley, "beer" means in fact bitter at least in one language) but the most normal case is words that are not at all pan-IE but restricted to some geographic areas like the Scythian influence one, or the Eastern Mediterranean or the Baltic area. " Are you telling me that cognates have to have the exact same meaning to be considered valid or did I misunderstood?! There are shifts in meanings throughout the millenia, obviously… CORN is a good example: "grain," Old English corn, from Proto-Germanic *kurnam "small seed" (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon korn "grain," Middle Dutch coren, German Korn, Old Norse korn, Gothic kaurn), from PIE root *gre-no- "grain" (cf. Old Church Slavonic zruno "grain," Latin granum "seed," Lithuanian žirnis "pea"). The sense of the Old English word was "grain with the seed still in" (e.g. barleycorn) rather than a particular plant.Locally understood to denote the leading crop of a district. Restricted to the indigenous "maize" in America (c.1600, originally Indian corn, but the adjective was dropped), usually wheat in England, oats in Scotland and Ireland, while Korn means "rye" in parts of Germany (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=corn&searchmode=none) I add that "korn" in Swedish generally means "barley". So anyway, to sum it up, there are many words linking IE and agriculture and to achieve the demonstration, some are shared by European AND Asian IE languages (including the Tocharian languages that you think came from Afanasevo, who didn't use agriculture for all we know, and still had a word for "plough" that they took at the same source than Latin, that happens to be on the other side of the planet). "Latvian and Finnish but not Lithuanian? Strange for an areal loanword". "Makes sense if the origin in the North is Finnic" You're… you're proposing that the IE population borrowed a word for plough from Fennic and this word ended up in Latin and Tocharian?…. what a strange extreme concept. Finns as the source of technological agricultural technology loanwords in IE? I try to be open-minded but this sounds difficult to believe. "Just because it is shared by SOME IE languages that does not make a word genuinely PIE." The presomption is very high when the words are shared by several IE languages, especially when some are found both in Europe and in Asia. that's the logical "rule" among experts, rightfully so. Somehow you missed my point about "plough" in Tocharian and Latin despite my unabashed insistance… HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT SUCH DISTANT LANGUAGES (CENTRAL ITALY, XINJIANG. Areal loanword?) CAN SHARE THE SAME WORD FOR "PLOUGH". Who cares if it's a loanword, areal or not, they shouldn't have the same root for this, ESPECIALLY SINCE AFANASEVO has no link AT ALL with AGRICULTURE (neither the steppic population they were an offshoot of) as you should know because you did your homework in prehistory. How comes peoples arriving in western China from south Siberia around 2,000 BCE have a word for PLOUGH – a word they share with LATIN a language spoken on the shore of the mediterrean sea!? It had to be in PIE. And the people that used it had to be in a community with farmers. There is no way around it. Who cares if they borrowed it at the PIE stage, to borrow it, it had to have become part of their environment before Latin and Tocharian separated.

     
  16. vooruit

    August 21, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    "… all the Chalcolithic Russia knew was the wild boar". "Not true, gratuitous claim. And even if it'd be the case, it would be no excuse because words for boar and pig are often exchangeable in many languages even today. F.e. Basque: urde (pig, boar), basurde (wild pig or wild boar, literally). Archaeologically it's very difficult to discern boars from pigs: they were (and still are in many cases) virtually identical" The Kurganists disagree with you. Actually I'm pretty sure you're alone on this. For instance, no one will claim that the semi-nomadic Yamnaya people had domesticated pigs (that's for sedentary populations, you know. Farmers). "but it's generally accepted that domestic pigs were widespread since the Initial Neolithic." NOT IN THE STEPPIC KURGAN SOCIETIES! NOT BEFORE AROUND THE 1,000 BCE IIRC anyway.How is it possible that a root for pig (or wild boar for that matter) is shared throughout west Asia (including Sumerian: šáh) and also present around ~4,000 BCE at the middle Volga Samara among Mesolithic hunter-gatherers that just turned to pastoralism (ovine and bovine)? It doesn't make much sense! Even if you put the loanword a bit later, there were no domesticated pigs at all in the Kurgan cultures on the Pontic steppes (only hunted wild boars). There might have some in the western part of Ukraine relatively early (it kind of rings a bell), but then how comes Tocharian (suwo) also have this root also found in west Asia? As previously mentionned, Tocharians had domesticated pigs. "… some famous inscriptions from Neolithic Romania (the Tartaria tablets), almost 1,000 years before the first known cuneiform inscriptions, look suspiciously similar to archaic cuneiform". "They do not look cuneiform at all!" Not the usual classic cuneiform, but they do look kind of similar to ARCHAIC cuneiform. The origin is obviously what interests us here. "I think that laryngeals are linguists' mental wanking and nothing else: a rabbit they pulled out of the hat. It does not look serious to me, nope." Good for you. Just know that you are basically alone in your corner about this. An overwhelming majority of experts consider this a fact. As for your so-called sleight of hand (rabbit out of a hat!), it's the most famous case of posterior validation in historical linguistics (Saussure is not exactly a looney. You should know his name, he's one of the fathers of modern linguistics, no less). "The Anatolian languages are distributed in the west and center of Turkey". "Center-East of Anatolia peninsula. The late expansion of Luwian to the West ? Lydian) is something that happened under the Hittite Empire"As I previously said, if it went from east to west, how comes there is no Hattic loanwords in Luwian (source: the famous david W.Anthony) while Hittite is full of it… The Hattic area of influence is in the east of Asia minor.

     
  17. vooruit

    August 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    "And only then came Zeus (Indra, etc.) with its Indoeuropean court" So, are you rejecting a paleolithic origin for this Thundering deity (often) fighting a giant snake? Then it supports a west Asian origin of these cultural elements. How could IE mythology have anything in common with 3,000 BCE upper Egypt, or the bronze age semitic mythology (BAAl the mace-wielding thunderer, god of thunder and rain and fertility (basically a semitic Thor)) if the proto-indo-europeans were descendants of mesolithic hunter-gatherer of the middle Volga? "Frankish were very romanized themselves" Hmm… I don't think so. For instance at the time of the völkerwanderung they were the only Germanic barbarians that weren't christians, they were still heathen untill around 500 AD, all the others were Arian Christians (making them heretics for the Catholic Church. that's why the king of the Franks, Clovis/Hloddovicus (the guy after who every Lewis/Louis/Ludwig/Ludovico/Lodewijk are named after), decided to be catholic so that he could have the support of the Church in his war against the Burgundians, the Wisigoths, etc…). Some Franks had been livin in the Roman Empire as foederati but the bulk of this federation -the spearhead of the invasion- remained what they used to be, on the other side of the Rhine.

     
  18. Grey

    August 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    "How is it possible that a root for pig (or wild boar for that matter) is shared throughout west Asia (including Sumerian: šáh) and also present around ~4,000 BCE at the middle Volga Samara among Mesolithic hunter-gatherers that just turned to pastoralism (ovine and bovine)?"If you define the Indo-Europeans as a collection of features and then simplify that feature list down to1) language2) everything elsethen i don't see why the language couldn't start one place e.g. in some terrain adjacent to and trading with the first farmers but not suitable for arable farming and therefore not wanted by the first farmers, and then spread to a dramatically different environment e.g. the steppe, where that steppe environment provided most of the "everything else."In one sense that would make the original region the ur-heimat however in another sense if they got most of the distinctive features that spread over the widest area from the secondary heimat that would be more "ur" in a way.So basically i think both sides may be part-right.

     
  19. Maju

    August 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    "Are you telling me that cognates have to have the exact same meaning to be considered valid or did I misunderstood?!"You misunderstood. I was just pointing out some striking inconsistencies but it's still plausible (research needed and I won't do it). As a side note I'll mention that the Basque word for wheat is gari and the one for barley garagar (possibly a composite of gar-), so it's plausible that the Basque proto word for corn was *gar- or something like that, which can be easily related to IE words like "grain" (*gre-no). Whether this is because of shared remote origin of both languages or because they adopted the same word from a third Neolithic group, I can't tell. Notice that "gr" is impossible in Basque (as "br", "tr", etc., so Lat. "librus" → Basque "liburu"), while instead IE languages tend to suppress vowels between these pairs of consonants, so *gre ←→ *gar(-e) is perfectly plausible: a regular phonetic change."You're… you're proposing that the IE population borrowed a word for plough from Fennic and this word ended up in Latin and Tocharian?"Not at all. Only for the case of Latvian. What I'm saying is that somehow Finnic languages adopted the same term for plough as Southern IE languages (which may have borrowed it from whatever unknown source) but unlike Northern IE languages. So these do not seem to be at the origin but it's still possible that Finnic borrowed the word from some now extinct IE dialect spoken in the Samara area once upon a time.It's generally thought that anyhow the plough was not part of the original Neolithic package but a later (Chalcolithic or Late Neolithic) development. In Basque it's "golde", which does not seem to have clear cognates in other languages. The closest I can find is Malayalam "kalappa" but not too obvious."HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT SUCH DISTANT LANGUAGES (CENTRAL ITALY, XINJIANG. Areal loanword?) CAN SHARE THE SAME WORD FOR "PLOUGH"".There are two obvious possibilities: (1) that it is certainly a PIE word (whatever its ultimate origins) or that (2) it was borrowed from other substrate populations (with origins in West Asia). Only analysis of ancient Mediterranean and West Asian languages can give us clear clues, assuming that the word is documented and identified. So far what I have found is a plausible Arabic cognate: /miħrāθ/, just change mi- with a- and you get arat(-rum). This cognate is strongly suggestive of West Asian origin of the word but more research is needed, indeed."ESPECIALLY SINCE AFANASEVO has no link AT ALL with AGRICULTURE".Not just Afanasevo but actually all the Kurgan peoples in general. That's even further reason to consider these words as either borrowings or neologisms, and therefore not PIE. I insist that the plough was not known yet at the beginning of the Neolithic, so this word cannot be claimed to have spread with it in any case."Who cares if they borrowed it at the PIE stage"?It is central to determine if a word is PIE or not. … "it had to have become part of their environment before Latin and Tocharian separated". It can well be a coincidence. Maybe the origin is at, say, Sumerian or Hurrian, spreading simultaneously to the Eastern Med and Central Asia. After all the plough is like the "telephone" of its time: a great invention which spread fast in all directions carrying its name with it across ethnic borders. It explains nothing on its own.

     
  20. Maju

    August 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    … "no one will claim that the semi-nomadic Yamnaya people had domesticated pigs (that's for sedentary populations, you know. Farmers)".Maybe but they were not always so extremely nomadic (Samarans did not expand for a long time and they were not the most extremely horse-centric society of their time: that was Botai, further East) or that some of the populations they first conquered in the North Caucasus, Don basin or Ukraine lent them the word. Or simply that they incorporated it from the wild boar terminology, as often happens. The Cherokee also have a word for pig, apparently unrelated to IE languages (siqua), and they did not know the pig before European arrival for sure. "NOT BEFORE AROUND THE 1,000 BCE IIRC anyway."It seems to me an extremely late date. I question that claim."Just know that you are basically alone in your corner about this".As the article you mentioned clearly states at least some linguists question the laryngeal hypothesis. I find it very far fetched myself, sincerely, I like things clean and simple and tend to summon Occam's Razor when they are so convoluted. "how comes there is no Hattic loanwords in Luwian"No idea. I do not know enough. Maybe Hattic was not spoken that far south?Whatever the case it is extremely clear that Luwian was first spoken in Eastern (Central-SE) Anatolia, from Cappadocia eastwards to the Euphrates. After the Hittite collapse, "Luwian continued to be spoken in the Neo-Hittite states of Syria, such as Milid and Carchemish, as well as in the central Anatolian kingdom of Tabal that flourished in the 8th century BC". Not really "central" but SE Anatolian in fact, just south of the Kizil Irmak (Halys).

     
  21. Maju

    August 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    "So, are you rejecting a paleolithic origin for this Thundering deity (often) fighting a giant snake?"I guess so. I would think the thundering deity as Indoeuropean or similar (Thor, Zeus, Indra…) but it only seems to fit your description in Nordic mythology, which is a particular case. Other thundering deities may be pre-IE, such as Basque Odei (later assimilated to the Celtic Teutates in some areas) but this one does not fight any snake nor dragon, being his son in fact. Other than Thor, I do not know where you get your idea from, really. "How could IE mythology have anything in common with 3,000 BCE upper Egypt"…They do not AFAIK. You tell me in what they are coincident because it's the first time I read such claim. "… or the bronze age semitic mythology (BAAl the mace-wielding thunderer, god of thunder and rain and fertility (basically a semitic Thor)".Baal refers to many gods and even mortals, meaning just Lord. You probably mean Hadad or Hadu. I could also compare him with Odei, as rain-bearer, but I don't think that Sugaar the dragon or snake god can compare with El nor all-powerful Mari with the almost unknown goddess Rammayu, his mother. Each mythology has its peculiarities."For instance at the time of the völkerwanderung they were the only Germanic barbarians that weren't christians"…Christianity was still weak in the West (being after all an Oriental religion with nothing to take root in this part of the World other than Imperial imposition). Franks, unlike most other Germanic invaders, were a border people who had been for many centuries in contact with Rome. That's probably the secret of their success: that they adapted well to the Romance peoples, unlike Goths, who established ethnic apartheid (but relied on the Catholic administration, quite ironically). I did not mean that Franks were fully romanized, not at all, but they were clearly much more "Roman" than the rest: Goths, Burgundians, Lombards and Vandals, all of which were Eastern Germanics (and hence their socio-political weakness: just too alien to remain in power for long).

     
  22. Mason

    October 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Dear Maju,

    I think you would be interested in this new paper on aDNA in Northeast China.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/13/216
    http://www.ranhaer.com/thread-25961-1-1.html

    Y Chromosome analysis of prehistoric human populations in the West Liao River Valley, Northeast China

    Yinqiu Cui etc.

    Abstract
    Background

    The West Liao River valley in Northeast China is an ecologically diverse region, populated in prehistory by human populations with a wide range of cultures and modes of subsistence. To help understand the human evolutionary history of this region, we performed Y chromosome analyses on ancient human remains from archaeological sites ranging in age from 6500 to 2700 BP.
    Results

    47 of the 70 individuals provided reproducible results. They were assigned into five different Y sub-haplogroups using diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms, namely N1 (xN1a, N1c), N1c, C/C3e, O3a (O3a3) and O3a3c. We also used 17 Y short tandem repeat loci in the non-recombining portion of the Y chromosome. There appears to be significant genetic differences between populations of the West Liao River valley and adjacent cultural complexes in the prehistoric period, and these prehistoric populations were shown to carry similar haplotypes as present-day Northeast Asians, but at markedly different frequencies.
    Conclusion

    Our results suggest that the prehistoric cultural transitions were associated with immigration from the Yellow River valley and the northern steppe into the West Liao River valley. They reveal the temporal continuity of Y chromosome lineages in populations of the West Liao River valley over 5000 years, with a concurrent increase in lineage diversity caused by an influx of immigrants from other populations.

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/13/216
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2148-13-216.pdf

     
  23. Maju

    October 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I got that study in my “to do” list. Just that I'm on blogging vacation right now. 🙂

    Thanks anyhow.

     
  24. Mason

    October 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Good to know that you notice this paper! Looing forward to your comments on the paper! 🙂

     
  25. Mason

    October 16, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Also see this: http://eurogenes.blogspot.tw/2013/01/lots-of-ancient-y-dna-from-china.html

    Northeast
    Niuheliang, Hongshan Culture, 5000 YBP, 4 N, 1 C*, 1 O
    Halahaigou, Hongshan-Xiaoheyan Culture, 4500 YBP, all N
    Dadianzi, Lower Xiajiadian Culture, 3600 YBP, 3 N, 2 O3
    Dashanqian, Upper Xiajiadian Culture, 3000 YBP, 1 C, 3 N1c, 1 N, 2 O3-M117, 2 O3-M324
    Jinggouzi, 2500 YBP, all C

    Northwest
    Xiaohe, Xinjiang, 3500-4000 YBP, 11 R1a1a, 1 K*
    Tianshan Beilu, Hami, Xinjiang, 3300-4000 YBP, 5 N, 1 C
    Heigouliang, Xinjiang, 2000 YBP, 6 Q1a*, 4 Q1b, 2 Q
    Pengyang, Ningxia, 2500 YBP, all Q1a1-M120
    Taojiazhai, Qinghai, 1500 YBP, all O3-M324

    North
    Miaozigou, Central-South Inner Mongolia, Yangshao Culture, 5500 YBP, all N
    Sanguan site, Yu County, Hebei, Lower Xiajiadian Culture, 3400-3800 YBP, all O3
    Hengbei site, Jiang County, Shanxi, 2800-3000 YBP, 9 Q1a1, 2 O2a-M95, 1 N, 4 O3a2-P201, 2 O3, 4 O*

     
  26. Mason

    October 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Another new paper:

    http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.3897
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1310/1310.3897.pdf
    http://www.ranhaer.com/thread-26061-1-1.html

    Y Chromosomes of 40% Chinese Are Descendants of Three Neolithic Super-grandfathers

    Shi Yan, Chuan-Chao Wang, Hong-Xiang Zheng, Wei Wang, Zhen-Dong Qin, Lan-Hai Wei, Yi Wang, Xue-Dong Pan, Wen-Qing Fu, Yun-Gang He, Li-Jun Xiong, Wen-Fei Jin, Shi-Lin Li, Yu An, Hui Li, Li Jin
    (Submitted on 15 Oct 2013)
    Demographic change of human populations is one of the central questions for delving into the past of human beings. To identify major population expansions related to male lineages, we sequenced 78 East Asian Y chromosomes at 3.9 Mbp of the non-recombining region (NRY), discovered >4,000 new SNPs, and identified many new clades. The relative divergence dates can be estimated much more precisely using molecular clock. We found that all the Paleolithic divergences were binary; however, three strong star-like Neolithic expansions at ~6 kya (thousand years ago) (assuming a constant substitution rate of 1e-9/bp/year) indicates that ~40% of modern Chinese are patrilineal descendants of only three super-grandfathers at that time. This observation suggests that the main patrilineal expansion in China occurred in the Neolithic Era and might be related to the development of agriculture.
    Comments: 29 pages of article text including 1 article figure, 9 pages of SI text, and 2 SI figures. 5 SI tables are in a separate ancillary file
    Subjects: Populations and Evolution (q-bio.PE); Genomics (q-bio.GN)
    Cite as: arXiv:1310.3897 [q-bio.PE]
    (or arXiv:1310.3897v1 [q-bio.PE] for this version)
    Submission history
    From: Shi Yan [view email]
    [v1] Tue, 15 Oct 2013 01:52:48 GMT (1245kb)

     
  27. Maju

    October 17, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Oh, so many things! Thank you very much.

    The Eurogenes' entry is very interesting: highlighting how diverse was North China in the Neolithic and Metal Ages. Only some groups are dominated by O3, as happens now, while Q and N used to be much more important just a few millennia ago.

    The other study seems interesting in the sense that they seem to be using full segments of the Y chromosome and not anymore those confusing microsatellites. That's progress. However I have serious problems with their calibration: they claim a 53 Ka date for the CF-DE split, what is totally absurd on light of the archaeological evidence. It must be at least double that date. So the mysterious super-ancestors are not Neolithic (5-7 Ka ago) but Late Paleolithic (10-14 Ka ago at least), assuming everything else is correct.

     

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